“I'm not good at selling laptops. I'm good at selling ideas.” – Nicholas Negroponte, Born Dec. 1, 1943.
If you want to sell a product, an object, a service, whatever – you may get caught up in trying to describe the features and benefits and advantages of that particular doodad.
And that's understandable. If you created the thing, you can get obsessive and mired in the details. After all, it's what you've focused on when you made it just so.
But consider something you need to do in addition. Sometimes even instead of.
You want to sell the idea of a future. One where your product has already solved their problems.
Who are they in that future? What is their life like? At work? At home? With family and friends? With colleagues and peers? With fans and followers and underlings and enemies and haters?
That is an easy thing to sell, because they have to get their own imagination involved, and that's always going to be a better persuader than you ever could be.
And once they've bought that idea – that a future without this current problem is possible – then they will suddenly have a SELF-CREATED desire to pursue this outcome. They've seen it in their mind's eye and they want to move there from here.
They don't know how. They don't know the steps or even the path. If they did, they'd already be on it, living in that awesome future. Right?
But here is the good news. They are now HUNGRY for a shortcut.
They want to get to that future the easiest, fastest way possible. And as it happens, you just might have a product or service that can help. And you're RIGHT HERE when they decided they should do something about this problem.
And how much easier is it to sell an item to someone who already KNOWS what it's going to do and HOW they are going to use it in their lives?
They imagined a plan, and accepted it, and now to fulfill that plan, they are ready to buy what you sell.
Consider an analogy. Someone with no project in mind has no real incentive to buy random shit at the hardware store. It would be hard to convince them they need this tool or that material.
But sell them on a home improvement project in their own house – get them picture and imagine using that new kitchen, jacuzzi tub, or patio. What do they enjoy there? What does it look, smell, sound like? How much better is it than the lame shit they have now? How disappointing is that stuff compared to the awesomeness it could be?
NOW they want that future. They want it but how can they get it? They want to know the tools and instructions they need to make it happen. They want it to be easy and step by step, or even done for them.
NOW a trip to the hardware store is going to result in a TON of easy sales of all kinds of stuff they will need. They come to feed their imagination more details. They're sold on the possibility.
So the products and services are easy, because they're required.
<!—- lagniappe Here is a little grab bag of tips you can use for selling people on a future vision, no matter what your product or service is. 1. First, think about the problem you solve. Presume your reader has it currently. Think about the negative emotional and physical impact of that. Then, figure out what the relief feels like when you remove that negativity. Not just the absence of it, but for the pendulum to swing from bad to good. That is the feeling they have in this imaginary future. 2. Next, think about where they can go now that this problem-anchor isn’t holding them back. It’s not just about the relief and the rebound, but advancing. Think about your niche and what it means for someone to develop further into it. Is it a fitness goal, or a business goal, or something else? What kind of progress can they make between now and then? 3. Next, think in terms of replacement of bigger and better “stuff” - better clients, better partners, better customers. Maybe better friends or even better intimate relationships. Better material things: houses, cars, computers, art, boats, muscles, hair, whatever. Anything is on the table, even if it’s not something your product DIRECTLY delivers. We just want to show what is possible when we remove the thorn in their paw that will change them from a scaredy cat into a roaring lioness (or lion, lol). Don’t overdo it, but be thorough and detailed so that you give them a rich, deep, and multifaceted fantasy that they won’t be able to stop daydreaming about until they accept your offer. —->